Meals on Wheels of Fullerton, Inc. provides meals to Fullerton residents who are homebound and physically unable to shop for groceries or prepare their own meals enabling them to maintain their independence while remaining in their own homes.
In 1973, Fullerton Community Hospital approached the Director of the Volunteer Center of Orange County North and offered to help develop a Meals on Wheels program. National Charity League, Fullerton Chapter, The Ebell Club and the Red Cross were interested. The Volunteer Center coordinated these groups and on February 25, 1974, the first meal was delivered. There were ten clients. In 2018, Meals on Wheels will celebrate 44 years of service to the Fullerton community. Fullerton residents have realized the value of our program to the community and supported us both financially and through their generous volunteer service as drivers and members of our Board of Directors. Meals on Wheels has been allied with National Charity League, Fullerton Chapter. Since that time, NCL members deliver a minimum of 9 times per year. They also provide useful birthday gifts for our clients. Member daughters in grades 7 through 12 provide holiday favors throughout the year for our clients and accompany their mothers on deliveries during the summer and school vacations. Fullerton National Charity League provides our program with annual financial support as well. Assistance League of Fullerton provides in-kind office space and utilities with office space in their Philanthropy Building.
In the past three to five years Meals on Wheels of Fullerton has been able to maintain their level of service to homebound clients during the economic downturn. We conduct our annual letter-writing campaign in November and Fullerton residents have generously responded to support our program over the past five years. Our most outstanding accomplishment in the current fiscal year will be a celebration of our 44 years of service to the Fullerton community on February 24, 2018. The longevity of our meal program is due to the selfless volunteers who give their time to serve on our Board of Directors and as drivers delivering meals to approximately 91 clients Monday through Friday.
1. Funding for full or partial meal subsidies. $10 per day will provide a senior two meals Monday through Friday.
2. Volunteers to serve on our Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly September through June.
3. Volunteers to serve as drivers to deliver meals once a month or as substitutes on short notice.
4. Funding to cover costs of program expenses. Program expenses include salaries of the Case Manager, Scheduler, and required Board of Director's insurance.
5. Funding to cover costs of replenishing equipment. Equipment includes computers, printers, copy machines, hot boxes, hot packs, ice chests and blue ice.
Meals on Wheels of Fullerton is governed by a volunteer board which performs the duties of an Executive Director to keep our program expenses down. Our 200+ volunteers deliver 2 meals per day, mid-day, Monday through Friday to approximately 91 individuals on 7 routes. By utilizing volunteers instead of paid drivers, our program is able to keep the cost of the meals reasonable. We have two different food sources, St. Jude Medical Center, and Community SeniorServ, which allow us to provide specialized diets like dialysis, cardiac and diabetic, something many other meal delivery programs cannot do. There are no age limits. Our volunteers also deliver a smile and a friendly hello along with the meals which helps break through the isolation of being homebound.
Our donations come from a variety of sources including a Community Development Block Grant, family foundations, local community service organizations, our letter-writing campaign, and individual donations throughout the year.
Our challenges are always to find new sources of revenue and recruit new volunteers. Our volunteer board of directors looks for information on grants and awards we can apply for. We have linkages with community service organizations which provide a renewable source of volunteers and we advertise for volunteers in local publications.
One of our long-time volunteers, Ralph, was a U.S. Navy veteran. He walked into our office to volunteer and became one of our most willing volunteers. He would deliver several times a week if we needed him. As the years went by, his health declined and we were able to return his generosity by delivering meals to him when he became homebound. The circle was complete.
Board Chair Statement
Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer
There are several ways to donate to MOW. These include mailing a check, employer match, stock gifts, in-kind donations such as office space, printing, postage, or equipment. Volunteers are needed to serve on our Board of Directors or to deliver meals to the homebound. Two volunteers on seven routes Monday through Friday deliver meals to the homebound. National Charity League provides a renewable source of volunteeers while many seniors, retired individuals and even couples volunteer to deliver on a weekly or monthly basis.